The Rolling Stones are 50 years old this year but there is another band whose career spans as long – The Dubliners and there are those who think that they are as important..
The general image of the band is of a comic ‘Oirish’ band of lovable folkies, singing about Irish drunks, rakes and idiots all wrapped up in banjo, tin whistle and hairy pullovers but that ignores some of the great Irish folk music, full of warmth and love as well as angry songs about the British atrocities.

Their version of ‘Paddy On The Railways’ seems to touch on all the themes, singing of the travails of the railway navvies but look at ‘The Town I Loved So Well’ – a song about Londonderry (Derry) that doesn’t just tug at the heartstrings but gets you thinking about how a town got dragged into ‘The Troubles’ almost without any chance to back out.

From the early days of ‘Seven Drunken Nights’ and through ‘Fiddlers Green’ to their version of ‘The Irish Rover’ with the Pogues and shared vocals with Shane MacGowan they are the quintessential Irish folk crew.

50 Years and 50 songs – I found myself dipping in and out of this 3CD set and pulling out gem after gem.
I actually didn’t realise just how much I have enjoyed the Dubliners over the years but this will be a permanent addition to my listening – just wonderful!